Africa Cup of Nations
Result: Egypt 1-0 Cameroon
Date: 21 June 2019
Venue: Cairo International Stadium
Egypt got their Africa Cup of Nations campaign off to a positive with victory over a Zimbabwe outfit that included five South African-based players.
Khama Billiat, Teenage Hadebe, Ovidy Karuu and Divine Lungu were all named in the Zimbabwean line-up, which also included Knowlegde Musona and Marshall Munetsi.
While George Chigova missed out through suspension, Edmore Sibanda, who as was on the books of Witbank Spurs, was given the nod between the sticks for the Warriors and he had a busy opening to keep out Mohamed Salah and Mahmoud Alaa.
The hosts continued to dominate as the half went on, as Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah caused havoc down the right flank.
Billiat and Karuru proved to be the Warriors’ biggest threat in the first half, but the Kaizer Chiefs man should have broken the deadlock seven minutes before the break when he was denied by Ahmed El-Shennawy in a one-on-one situation.
Zimbabwe were made to rue that miss moments later as Mahmoud Trezeguet cut onto his right to send a fine curling finish past a hapless Sibanda for the tournament’s opening goal.
The Pharaohs began the second half in similar fashion to the first, but Sibanda was in no mood to be beaten again as he kept out Salah’s first-time effort after 66 minutes.
Zimbabwe showed up in patches as the second half continued, but they were often let down by the final pass while they were also disappointing with their set-piece delivery.
With time running out, SuperSport United forward Evans Rusike replaced Mushekwi on 79 minutes while Talent Chawapiwa was introduced five minutes later for the Warriors.
Despite a late push for Zimbabwe, Egypt were able to see out the closing stages to record three points in their opening Group A encounter.